Chicago student is first to get perfect ACT score in his school's history

A West Side Chicago student is breaking barriers.

Mario Hoover is the first in his high school's history to get a perfect ACT score.

The Providence-St. Mel School junior has a lot on his plate: concert choir, volunteering at the local hospital and boys and girls club, track, and debate.

But when it came to the ACT, he got down to business.

Hoover enrolled in an ACT prep course, took practice exams and paced himself during the test – and it all paid off.

Hoover is the first student in his school's 42-year history to get a 36, which is a perfect score. He says it took him time to see his potential.

"I want others to know that they can do the same. I've been saying a lot today that we are all capable of more than we think we can do," Hoover said.


Timothy Ervin is the principal of Providence-St. Mel School.

"He is the future of Black history, in the sense that he has made history here in the present and that's going to live on forever," Ervin said.

Hoover wants to attend Columbia University in New York, majoring in neuroscience and minoring in music because he loves to sing.